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I live in Argentina. The cities of Quilmes, Ezpeleta, Berazategui and a few others are my home.

I'm moving to the U.S.. I've stayed in Mobile, Alabama for a year, and the place sucked my soul out.

I'm not looking for a place that looks like Argentina, but for a place with a similar lifestyle.

By this I mean:

  • a place where I'm not obligated to own a car because walking or riding a bike is impossible
  • a place where I can find local stores. Here I know that I can go to a store to buy pastries, a different one to buy craft supplies, a fresh pasta store, a chocolate store, a drugstore, a produce store, a pharmacy, a natural products store, etc.. In Alabama there was a Walmart where I could find a little bit of everything and where the produce sucked, a Winn-Dixie, and a few big stores like Hobby Lobby and Home Depot
  • A PLACE WITH SIDEWALKS
  • a place where I don't have to walk 45 minutes to get anywhere
  • a place that doesn't have just a bunch of main streets, and no other way to get from A to B other than those loud 6 lane streets that feel like walking along a highway
  • a place where it is possible to ride a bike places because the streets allow it

Where I'm from, there's a lot of the Italian, Spanish and French cultures and food.
I'm also looking for somewhere safe crime-wise, with no natural disasters, and cold and dry but not cold to where your boogers freeze.
I feel like I basically want Argentina in the U.S.. Or maybe a place that resembles Europe.

My lifestyle is not as lazy as what I've seen in Alabama. I like to move, and the food there seems much more unhealthy. I can't find anything that doesn't come from concentrate unless I go to a Whole Foods Market, which is over an hour away from me by foot.

I've been in Texas too for a few weeks, and it seemed pretty much the same, except for the Mexican food and spanish tv. I also know someone from South Carolina who tells me it's the same as well, uses the car everywhere he goes and even lives on a dirt street.

I don't like crowded places. I live close to the capital city, and I hate it. Places like New York are not what I want at all.
I don't want to live in the Latin culture, so places like Miami and California are not what I want either -I can't stand the heat either-.
I guess I want a healthy American culture.

At the same time, I always wanted to work at a farm.
I would consider Mobile to be a suburban city. I was some minutes away from downtown, and it didn't look like what I'd consider the countryside. However, there was a farm 1 hour away on foot from where I lived, which makes me confused as to if it was really a suburb. Maybe it was hybrid.

I've talked to my neighbor about this, and he looked at me like "you'll never find a place like that".
I've been watching shows, and there's Zoë Bakes; whenever she goes outside, it looks just like where I'd want to be. She goes to local bakeries and stores (even though I can't say if she needs a car), BUT she lives in Minnesota and my neighbor told me that your boogers do in fact freeze there.
He also told me that Colorado isn't a good option because of the weather -something about tornadoes-; I think he also told me it's not safe. And that in North or South Dakota there's a drug chain going on.

Really, I don't know if there's a little "Argentina Town" somewhere in the U.S., and if there was, I wouldn't know how to find it.

This is home Argentina

This is where I stayed Airport and Hillcrest, Mobile

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  • Voting to close as soliciting opinions. Also, copying the comment I left on the other forum: there are very few places in the US that would match your requirement. The US is built on a concept of neverending suburbs interconnected with a network of highways built around and enclosing "urban" neighborhoods designed for poor people. There are very few actual cities in the US, most are called cities but are in fact a network of loosely connected street malls (a very precise description of LA I've heard recently).
    – littleadv
    Dec 29, 2022 at 1:02
  • @littleadv I had opposing comments. Your comment says there's very few places, and another comment says there's tens of thousands of places like that in the U.S.
    – All Humans
    Dec 29, 2022 at 1:04
  • Tens of thousands little towns, not in one of them can you live without a car. Americans may not even understand your question because it's just not a thing they've ever experienced.
    – littleadv
    Dec 29, 2022 at 1:08
  • @littleadv Let's leave transportation aside then. There's other points, such as the food and the stores. Food is important to me, and it's so different in Alabama. It's a matter of many aspects that make up a lifestyle, not just one
    – All Humans
    Dec 29, 2022 at 2:05
  • I can suggest the Bay Area, peninsula or the city more specifically, but even there you'll be somewhat restricted without the car. Places where you can walk/bike the most would also be most expensive (and it's already not a cheap place). New York City, for most of it, and some other major cities on the east coast. Seattle, New Orleans that was mentioned before...
    – littleadv
    Dec 29, 2022 at 6:36

1 Answer 1

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You don't need a car in the USA if you choose your place to live wisely. I'm not going to recommend specific places because there are too many. Rather, I will focus some ways you could find such a place.

You could look for:

  • College towns. They're often small, quiet, safe, peaceful, international, and suitable for car-free living.
  • Towns listed as bicycle-friendly by the League of American Bicyclists. They reward towns in the categories Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Bicycle-friendly places are often also friendly for pedestrians or public transportation (but not always). See also Wikipedia.
  • "Blue islands" in red states. That means single counties that vote mostly Democrat in states that are otherwise voting (overwhelmingly) Republican. An example is Laramie, Wyoming.

There is a very large overlap between the three lists.

My wife used to live in central Iowa City. She got around on foot, but cycling is also fine. There are sidewalks throughout and the city centre provides most of what one needs. A little further out by bicycle is also fine. In fact, I don't think a car is even useful in Iowa City, because everything of interest is in cycling distance and nothing of interest is in driving distance (except farms, perhaps, and the train station is 50 miles / 80 km south, which is not very useful; I love the great outdoors, but places of major outdoor interest are too far even by car for a day trip).

From personal experience, I can attest one can also be fine without a car in three towns I have visited for work: Boulder, Colorado; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Madison, Wisconsin. Somehow, my work as a geoscientist brings me mostly to the top-5 bicycle-friendly towns in the USA…

None of those are loud. They're also small enough you might ride your bike to work on a farm 10 miles out. At least between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes, there are plenty of farm roads with very little traffic that make for excellent bicycle riding. It does get cold in the Mid-West, but not very cold; temperatures rarely drop below -20°C (someone from Alabama might believe -20°C is very cold). Deep snow is also rare if you're not too close to the Great Lakes.

Those places are also mostly safe crime-wise and often have a reasonably international offer of restaurants downtown, but you might not necessarily find more obscure offers such as Ethiopian or Georgian cuisine.

It's a myth that you need a car living in the USA. In some places you do, but you can certainly seek out places where you don't need one.

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  • Just wanted to add a comment that I can confirm quite a bit of this with my own personal experience. I very carefully choose my living situations so I didn't need a car to get anything done (even though I had a car) and did so with amazing success. It was only when I moved to Vegas that that finally seemed impossible, and that might have been simply because of just not getting lucky enough to find any of the right few spots.
    – ouflak
    Dec 30, 2022 at 14:29
  • @ouflak can l know where you lived?
    – All Humans
    Dec 30, 2022 at 16:10
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    Pensacola, Norman - OK (college town), Dallas.
    – ouflak
    Dec 30, 2022 at 17:12

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